Valley Eye Radio expands coverage to keep pace with COVID-19 news

  • A control panel at Valley Eye Radio’s Springfield studios. STAFF PHOTO/ANDY CASTILLO

  • Volunteer Jeanne DelMonte reads from The Republican in Valley Eye Radio’s Springfield studios in January. STAFF FILE PHOTO/ANDY CASTILLO

  • Volunteer Jeanne DelMonte reads from The Republican in Valley Eye Radio’s Springfield studios in January. STAFF PHOTO/ANDY CASTILLO

Staff Writer
Published: 3/27/2020 11:40:03 AM

SPRINGFIELD — News related to the COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically increased in volume in recent days. To keep pace, a Springfield-based radio station on which volunteers read stories for the visually impaired is expanding its coverage, too.

As a response to the breaking news regarding the coronavirus, Valley Eye Radio expanded its readings of the Daily Hampshire Gazette and Greenfield Recorder to six days a week “to keep our listeners updated on the important information that (newspapers) provide,” said Harold Anderson, the program’s director, in a statement issued Tuesday.

Monday through Saturday, the Gazette is now broadcast to listeners for an hour each day beginning at 11 a.m. followed by the Greenfield Recorder for an hour beginning at noon. Local readings of the Gazette will be rebroadcast on the same evening at 9 p.m. and the Greenfield Recorder at 10 p.m. 

Valley Eye Radio, which has operated for more than four decades, doesn’t have call letters as do other stations. Instead, the program piggybacks on frequencies used by other, larger stations. Because of that, ordinary radios can’t pick it up. Listeners can only tune in on special devices that can be obtained from the station. The radios are free, although there’s a one-time $65 suggested donation (if listeners can afford to pay that much) to help keep the station running. Additionally, a telephone service broadcasts the programming 24 hours a day.

Notably, the articles broadcast over the station’s airways are from a variety of local publications as well as national newspapers. The articles are read by volunteers, who, in this public health emergency, have begun recording them at home, Anderson said.

“With the breaking coronavirus news, we could not wait to begin this long-planned expansion of our local programming to our listeners,” Anderson explained.

For more information or to obtain a radio that can pick up the frequency, call Valley Eye Radio at 413-747-7337. The station’s website is valleyeyeradio.org. Contact the station for a full programming schedule.




Daily Hampshire Gazette Office

115 Conz Street
Northampton, MA 01061
413-584-5000

 

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